Washington backs joint Agent Orange cleanup project in Vietnam

Stara and Stripes
By Andrew Headland Jr.
August 14, 2011

A joint U.S.-Vietnamese team is working to clean up approximately 62 acres near Da Nang airport, the site of a U.S. base during the Vietnam where drums of Agent Orange were stored, The Asahi Shimbum reported.

The highly toxic defoliant still torments the land and exceeds international safety standards by 400 percent nearly 50 years after the chemical was first used by the U.S., the newspaper reported.

The U.S. will provide about $32 million to finance the decontamination work, which both governments aim to complete by 2013, Asahi reported.

More than 84,000 Vietnam veterans afflicted with heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia can now draw disability compensation when the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this month expanded the list of ailments presumed caused by exposure to herbicides, including Agent Orange.

A joint U.S.-South Korea investigation team earlier this month found no evidence of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll in South Korea despite recent claims to the contrary by former soldiers.